Friday, May 21st, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, May 21, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.

UPN confirmed Fall 2004-05 schedule:
8p      One on One
830p    Half and Half
9p      Girlfriends
930p    Second Time Around
8p      All of Us
830p    Eve
9p      Veronica Mars
8p      America’s Next Top Model
9p      Kevin Hill
8p      WWE Smackdown!
8p      America’s Next Top Model [r]
9p      Star Trek: Enterprise

UPN New Series:

  • Second Time Around
  • is comedy about a couple who married, divorced, and have just married again. While that may seem a little flat or ordinary for a sitcom premise, the kicker here is the chemistry between the two leads – Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Parker, who happen to be a couple in real life as well. Regan Jon Inc. / C to the B Prods in assoc with Paramount Network Television.

  • Veronica Mars
  • is a drama about a girl who was once in with the in crowd, now she clearly on the outs.  And she still has to go to high school everyday and see these people, not to mention helping her father out with his private detective business during her off hours.  This series seems to have all the right pieces, it’s just a matter if they’re assembled properly, and the amount of tape seen at the upfront was not enough to distinguish that. Warner Bros. Television, Stu Seagall Prods, Silver Pictures Television.

  • Kevin Hill
  • on the other hand is very well put together in all areas.  This story about a top notch lawyer (Taye Diggs), clearly on the rise, clearly with power and influence, and young and single at the same time. A snappy dresser (seriously snappy) and a look in his eye that makes you grin.  And then one of this season’s more popular drama premises kicks in – a family member dies and he inherits the infant daughter.  His life is upside down and right side up all at the same time. While this premise has been introduced elsewhere, it seems to resonate with this group more solidly, making this show the showstopper of the UPN upfront.  Already fully gelled, already has an identity.  And is clearly in the hottest time period the network has to offer. Icon Prods, Touchstone Television.

Midseason Series:

  • The Missy Elliott Project (working title) will step in between the two complete cycles of America’s Next Top Model (13 eps in each cycle). This reality show takes the Top Model format and applies it to music.  Missy takes a group of aspiring singers on the road – literally, in a tour bus – and takes them to all sorts of small towns America, testing and challenging them over and over. Each ep (10 all together) finds one singer hitting the road, headed back home under their own steam.

Quick Note:  Les Moonves says a 6th night of UPN may come along as soon as next year.

FOX confirmed Summer/Fall/Winter 2004-05 Schedules: Fox’s year-round programming initiative —
        June – October /  November-January / January-June
8p      The North Shore (6/14) / North Shore / Athens
9p      The Casino (6/14) / The Swan 2 /  24
8p      Bernie Mac / The Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best / American Idol
830p    Method & Red [r] (6/22)
9p      The Jury (6/8) / House / House
8p      That 70’s Show
830p    Quintuplets (6/16) / Quintuplets / Related by Family
9p      Simple Life 2: Road Trip (6/16) / Bernie Mac Show / American Idol Results Show
930p    Method & Red (6/16) / Method & Red / Bernie M
8p      The North Shore [r] 6/17) / The O.C. / The O.C.
9p      Tru Calling / Tru Calling / True Calling
8p      Totally Outrageous Behavior /  The Next Great Champ / The Inside
830p    Worlds Craziest Videos
9p      The Jury [r] (6/11) /  The Jury / Johnny Zero
8p      Cops
830p    Cops
9p      AMW
7p      Oliver Beane (6/6) / King of the Hill /  Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show
730p    King of the Hill / Malcolm /  King of the Hill
8p      Simpsons / Simpsons / Simpsons
830p    Arrested Development / Arrested Development / Malcolm
9p      Malcolm / The Partner / Arrested Development
930p    Quintuplets [r] (6/20) / The Partner / American Dad

New Series:

  • The North Shore
  • is set on the island of Hawaii in a fabulous resort hotel with fabulous guests with fabulously demanding demands, and a staff (the core cast) trying to please everyone.  This show presents all kinds of opportunity for guest stars (think Love Boat the Drama) and plenty of nice people to look at. 20th Century Fox Television

  • Athens
  • is from the same guys as The O.C., is billed as being more adult, yet it centers on a freshman college dorm and the new found freedoms out from under the rule of mom and dad. The story also delves into teacher/student relationships and being away from home for the first time. Wonderland Sound and Vision / Warner Bros. Television

  • The Casino
  • from Mark Burnett follows the day to day reality of buying a Las Vegas Casino and then learning while your doing – dealing with employees, cheating customers, the works. Coming from Mark Burnett Prods., this show begs a look see.

  • The Billionaire
  • is also a realty show, this one with Sir Richard Branson in the center square. Branson, the Chairman of Virgin Records, Airlines, etc., is a true adventurer and in this series he is looking for the best of the best adventurers in a group of young entrepreneurs as they go galavanting about the world in search of yet more adventure. If they fail to impress, they are sent home. Bunim-Murray Prods.

  • Method & Red
  • is a sitcom about a black family moving into a lily white, locked jawed, high crust neighborhood.  Basically, they scare the neighbors just by showing up and in their efforts to make everyone feel at home, scare them even more. A little too expected, a little too ordinary, but has he right talent to break away if it can turn the corner into the unexpected and the extraordinary.  Regency Television & 20th Century Fox.

  • The Jury
  • is a legal show that begins as they jury is getting their instructions from the judge. They move to the deliberation room where the remainder of the action takes place. We learn of the aspects of the case via their own flashbacks.  Based on the pedigree of this show’s creators/producers, this one will likely stand the test of time.  Levinson/Fontana, 20th Century Fox.

  • House
  • refers to a doctor’s name. Dr. House.  This show looks great. Period.  Medical mysteries – yes there are others next season that delve into the same arena – but no niceties, no frills, no compassion, no bedside manner, all of which make it about as compelling as television gets. Universal Television.

  • Quintuplets
  • is what happens when the babies become teenagers.  Five ill-behaved teens under Andy Richter’s roof, comes across as taking the easy way out – not enough effort went into making the dialogue clever or witty or even funny. 20th Century Television and Imagine Television.

  • Related by Family
  • is about a group of teenagers who hang out in the mall food court.  In the preview tape, the VO says this show is for ‘whoever has dreamed of working in fast food.”  Well, there you go.  Paramount Television.

  • Simple Life 2: Road Trip
  • needs no explanation.  You know what you’re going to get – it’s Paris and Nicole all over again. A little jaw dropping, a lot of funny, always amazing. 20th Century Fox Television / Bunim-Murray Prods.

  • The Next Great Champ
  • with Oscar de la Hoya, in this reality show search for the next great boxer of our time. Who knows, maybe women will watch boxing. Endemol USA.

  • The Inside
  • is about an FBI Agent under cover in a high school, only things rarely go as one might hope. Not enough tape on this one to get a real feeling for the show. We’ll have to wait and see. 20th Century Fox Television / Imagine Television

  • Jonny Zero
  • is an ex con who’s just been released and wants to make a legal go of things, only his old buds are trying to draw him back. Meanwhile the FBI would like him to work for them as an undercover guy with access to some of the city’s seedier bars and living rooms.  Warner Bros. Television in assoc with John Wells Prods.

  • Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show,
  • a Laugh-in style sketch comedy show with Kelsey as the self professed “comedic Alfred Hitchcock.” Some silly, some very creative, all part of the package.  This show is based on the sophomore series currently airing in the UK. Grammet Prods / Avalon Television Ltd.

  • The Partner
  • is something like The Apprentice but for lawyers, described as John Houseman meets My Cousin Vinny. Their weekly task is to argue a case, brilliantly, based on real cases. Those on the losing side of the case go before the ‘celebrity’ Judge to argue their own case. The rest continue on to the next round. The last lawyer standing, becomes The Partner. Rocket Science Laboratories.

  • American Dad
  • is an animated series on Sunday nights next year and is about a father who happens to work for the CIA and sees conspiracies and terrorists at every door. Just going about his day trying to protect his family – wife, daughter, son, talking goldfish (secret CIA experiment) and a wisecracking Alien he rescued from Area 51. 20th Century Fox Television

Two notes – Every episode of 24 will air without commercials.  Every single one of them.  And Family Guy returns in June 2005.

Now, here’s a look a the full schedule – all broadcast networks for the summer/fall (alphabetically)  [list does not include PAX b/c I don’t have the information with me, but will recap this schedule on Monday with PAX included]:
Monday: The Benefactor, Monday Night Football
Tuesday: My Wife & Kids, George Lopez, According to Jim, Rodney, NYPD Blue
Wednesday: Lost, The Bachelor, Wife Swap
Thursday: Extreme Makeover, Life as We Know It, Primetime Live
Friday: 8 Simple Rules, Savages, Hope & Faith, Less than Perfect, 20/20
Saturday: Wonderful World of Disney
Sunday: AFV, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Dangerous Wives, The Practice: Fleet Street

Monday: Still Standing, Listen Up, Raymond, Two and a Half Men, CSI Miami
Tuesday: NCIS, Clubhouse, Judging Amy
Wednesday: 60 Minutes, King of Queens, Center of the Universe, CSI NY
Thursday: Survivor Vanuato, CSI, Without a Trace
Friday: Joan of Arcadia, JAG, dr. vegas
Saturday: 48 Hours, The Amazing Race, Crime Time Saturday
Sunday: 60 Minutes, Cold Case, Sunday Night Movie

Monday: North Shore, The Casino
Tuesday: Bernie Mac, Method & Red, The Jury
Wednesday: That 70’s Show, Quintuplets, Simple Life 2, Method & Red [r]
Thursday: North Shore [r], Tru Calling
Friday: Totally Outrageous Behavior, Worlds Craziest Video, The Jury [r]
Saturday: Cops Cops, AMW
Sunday: Oliver Beane, King of the Hill, Simpsons, Arrested Development, Malcolm, Quintuplets [r]

Monday: Fear Factor, Las Vegas, LAX
Tuesday: Average Joe, Father of the Pride, Scrubs, Law & Order SVU
Wednesday: Hawaii, West Wing, Law & Order
Thursday: Joey, Will & Grace, The Apprentice, ER
Friday: Dateline, Third Watch, Medical Investigation
Saturday: The Apprentice [r], Saturday Movie
Sunday: Dateline, American Dreams, L&O: CI, Crossing Jordan

Monday: One on One, Half and Half, Girlfriends, Second Time Around
Tuesday: All of Us, Eve, Veronica Mars
Wednesday: America’s Next Top Model, Kevin Hill
Thursday: WWE Smackdown
Friday: America’s Next Top Model [r], Star Trek Enterprise

Monday: 7th Heaven, Everwood
Tuesday: Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill
Wednesday: Smallville, Blue Collar TV, Drew Carey’s Green Screen
Thursday: The Mountain, Studio 7
Friday: What I Like About You, Commando Nanny, Reba, Grounded for Life
Sunday: Steve Harvey’s Big Time, Charmed, Jack & Bobby

Things I learned at the upfronts this week:
Ireland has a population of about 4 million
Brad Garrett thinks he needs to wear a name tag
Everyone is #1 in something, and everyone has viewers who linger longer than anyone else’s, particularly longer than cable.
If the laugh track is just loud enough, and the acoustics in the theatre are just right, the buyers can’t quite figure out if their laughing or not.
ABC is like the fat kids who eat paste.
Keifer Sutherland doesn’t like speaking to a large group: “Public speaking is not my foray.”  Ah.
For some, Elizabeth Vargas reminds them of Cynthia McFadden.
Lenny Kravitz is fine at any time after 3pm

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of May 3 -9, 2004 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           8.2 AA
Oprah (King World)                      6.9 AA / 7.0 GAA
Jeopardy (King World                    6.6 AA
Seinfeld (Sony) 6.0 AA /                        7.1 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  .8 AA / 6.9 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   5.4 AA / 5.5 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    5.4 AA / 6.1 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       5.0 AA / 5.1 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          4.8 AA / 7.2 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  3.5 AA / 4.5 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of May 3 -9, 2004 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                         4.0 AA / 4.7 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  3.9 AA / 4.5 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    3.0 AA / 3.3 GAA
Oprah (King World)                      2.7 AA / 2.8 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.3 AA / 3.0 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.3 AA / 2.4 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           2.2 AA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.0 AA / 2.2 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   2.0 AA / 2.0 GAA
King of the Hill (20th)                 1.9 AA / 2.2 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   1.8 AA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          1.7 AA / 2.5 GAA
King of Queens ((Sony)                  1.7 AA / 2.0 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research9

There’s a new reality show scheduled to air on Spike TV in September 2004.  The American Champion will feature an 11-week look into 10 fighters lives during that time and the fights they spar in.  Three judges will pick the contestants by way of 3 round sparring matches from Chicago, Dallas, LA, New York, Philadelphia and Miami.  Viewers will be able to view the fighters everyday lives and behaviors during the 11 week period via in house cameras.  The final contestant will get the chance to fight World Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes and win a 1-year professional boxing deal.  In addition, the show’s ringside audience will choose a Favorite Underdog.  The underdog will have another try at knocking out the competition.

With assistance from the season finale of That 70’s Show and American Idol, Fox couldn’t lose on Wednesday night, ordering up an overall 7.6/20 A18-49 rating for the night according to Nielsen Media Research.  ABC was #2 with an overall 4.9/13 with the season finale of The Bachelor, followed by NBC 4.0/10, WB 2.7/7, CBS 2.3/6, UPN 1.1/3.  At 8pm Fox led with a 5.6/17 for the full hour, the finale of That 70’s Show brought in a 6.4/18 alone.  ABC’s back to back My Wife & Kids delivered a 2.9/9 for the hour, just a share point ahead of Smallville’s season finale which found 2.6/8, #3 for the hour in the adult demo. Among M18-34, WB was #2 behind Fox with a 3.8/13 for the hour. At 9pm Fox strikes again with a 9.6/23 A1849 (12.0/26 among W18-49). It was followed by ABC’s The Bachelor first hour of its season finale (4.9/12; and a 7.1/16 among W18-49). WB’s Angel, this one the series finale, drew a 2.8/7 A18-49 and was once again #2 among M18-34 behind Fox with a 3.9/11. King of Queens finale on CBS drew a tight 2.8/7. ABC led at 10p with the final finale hour of The Bachelor with Jesse picking Jessica and earning a 6.9/17 for the hour (9.7/22 W18-49). In the adult 18-49 demo, NBC was right on its heels with Law & Order’s 6.4/16.

Sandra Dewey was upped to SVP/Original Programming for TBS and Turner Network Television (TNT).  She will oversee the networks’ business divisions including business affairs, production and production finance for original productions (reality series, scripted series and movies).    Sandra will work with Michael Wright, SVP/TNT Original Programming and Christy Kreisberg, VP/ TBS Original Programming.  Michael and Christy are the creative decision makers for the originals.  Sandra is based in LA and reports to Steve Koonin, EVP and COO of TBS and TNT.

Scripps Networks upped Jim Sexton to VP/ and Traci Topham to VP/Interactive Ad Sales Marketing.  Jim will be responsible for and certain special projects.  Traci will continue to be involved with online ad sales marketing in addition to new duties concerning VOD and broadband ad sales marketing. 

Abby Greensfelder was upped to SVP/Programming and Development for the Discovery Channel. Her previous position was VP of the same department since 2002. She will report to Jane Root, the channel’s new EVP and GM. Abby will be responsible for Discovery Channel’s scheduling, acquisitions and program development.

CorrectionListen Up!, the new Monday night 830p comedy on CBS next fall starring Jason Alexander, is from Regency Television and CBS Prods, not Warner Bros. Television.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004. Fast Affiliate Household Ratings for all Networks. Fast affiliate numbers which reflect time period data, not program data, and can change slightly once the finals come in, particularly for LIVE programming (i.e. Football). Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

FOX     10.1/16 That 70’s Show 6.1/11, That 70’s Show [season finale] 7.9/13, American Idol 13.1/20

NBC     8.0/13  The One with All the Other Ones: A Friends Retrospective 4.3/7, The West Wing  7.2/11, Law & Order 12.5/20

CBS     6.1/10  60 Minutes II 6.7/11, The King of Queens [season finale] 6.0/9, Everybody Loves Raymond [r] 5.9/9, 48 Hours 5.6/9

ABC     7.5/12  My Wife and Kids 5.3/9, My Wife and Kids [r] 5.3/9, The Bachelor [season finale] 8.6/13

WB      3.5/6   Smallville [season finale] 3.6/6, Angel [series finale] 3.3/5

UPN     1.8/3   Star Trek: Enterprise 2.3/4, I’m Still Alive 1.2/2      

A18-49  FOX 7.6/20, ABC 4.9/13, NBC 4.0/10, WB 2.7/7, CBS 2.3/6, UPN 1.1/3




#1 Time Period rank with A18-49,
beating Reba & Joan of Arcadia!

#1 Time Period rank with A18-49,
beating specials of Frasier & Reba!

8:00 PM on ABC

Available exclusively from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable

Source:  NTI Explorer, 5/14/04.  US Ratings. 

Friday Fun Fact: White Christmas (1954), starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, was the first movie to be made in Vista Vision, a deep-focus process.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
In 1927, American pilot Charles Lindbergh lands in Paris, completing the first solo non-stop transatlantic aircraft flight. In 1932, five years to the day later, Amelia Earhart becomes the second person to complete a solo, non-stop transatlantic flight.

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question:   What is the correct response to the greeting “Peace and long life”?  LIVE LONG AND PROSPER.  It’s the Vulcan greeting.  Kudos to: Matt Oestreich-WFTV/Orlando; Cindy Laguda-ABC Family/NY; Denise Perry-NCC/NY; Mark Berger-MediaMax Network/Valhalla; Erin Roston-NCC/Dallas; Eric Merrill-GSD&M/Austin; RJ Morris-KSMO/Kansas City; Heather Hargrave-Baton Rouge; Mark Showalter-P.S. Media/Tri Cities Washington; Donna Castleberry-Haworth Mktg & Media/LA; David Pearlman-Fox Movie Channel/LA; Michael Lever-Access Hollywood/Burbank; Ken Dubow-Modern Entertainment/Cannes.


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Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
05/21/04  4:51am
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COURT TV:       Forensic Fridays
ABC             George Lopez [Season Finale], 20/20
CBS             Joan of Arcadia [Season Finale], JAG [Season Finale], CSI: Miami
FOX             Movie: Legally Blonde
NBC             Dateline NBC, NBC Special: Daytime Emmy Awards
PAX             MGM Night at the Movies: Company Business, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             UPN Movie Friday: The Best Man
WB                The WB’s Superstar USA [r], The WB’s Superstar USA [r]
TELE              Prisonera, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
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